Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Half a Good House: Flexible Housing For Wellington Home Buyers

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posted on 2021-11-16, 01:14 authored by Dubbeld, Joshua

Increasing population and changing family demographics are driving the need for new and more sustainable housing solutions. Medium-density housing is recognised as a sustainable approach to accommodate future growth within urban centres, challenging suburban sprawl and creating efficient, affordable dwelling. This thesis explores a process to generate a more progressive approach to medium density housing, favouring individual personalisation over inflexible environments that package the occupier.  Through the review of precedents, successful principles were used in a series of design studies that examined the potential for gridded spaces to satisfy flexibility and variation, opportunities for community interaction and integration beyond the site. The design resolution was reached through applying those principles on a residential site in Wellington New Zealand. The final design proposes a new approach to housing through the ‘half a good house’ mantra where the bounds of the home are defined volumetrically (the first half), but the internal spaces and walls are free for the occupier to continually adapt depending on their unique and changing needs.  The general principles of the design can be applied to other Wellington sites and contexts. They can also be applied in other cities with similar urban housing problems in New Zealand and Australia. If successful, the principles could be developed into a viable solution to the varying and changing needs in future housing.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Master of Architecture (Professional)

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Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Schnabel, Marc Aurel